When it comes to craft cocktails hosting a tiki themed night, you can't really hold them to all the same standards as a full blown tiki bar. The decor and vibe will be different just because these bars are *not* tiki bars. And surely they will not have their own tiki swag! They can, however, be held to the standard of the tiki drinks, the music and the food.
And when it comes to these three areas, Rancho Santa Margarita's Blind Pig more than held their own in 2 of the 3 areas - and in a bonus area! And frankly they are the most important areas!
They had some great tiki classics as well as some drinks they took and made their own with their special "riffs". They had the classic Pain Killer, Jungle Juice and Navy Grog. All three were killer! The rums they stock and the knowledge they pour into their drinks is very much to be admired! They also took some liberties with the Mai Tai and made their own versions. Didn't get to those on this trip, but will next time!
They really took the tiki concept and expanded it - eastward. They had some, what I will call *craft* tacos (after all what else would you call a sweet potato taco!). And they were great (even the sweet potato one)! They took that tiki theme and pushed the envelope. Which, quite frankly, I appreciate! Challenge me! Challenge the idea of tiki and grow it beyond what we might think of.
OK, when it came to music, they could use some improvement. I'd like to see them playing really tiki forward music. Island tunes, reggae, classic Polynesian, Hapa Haole...I'd even take rock-a-billy, hula-billy or some other stylized music that fits. While they could use some work on the play list, it was not enough to distract us from the tiki drinks. It's just, you know, I check that stuff out!
Now where they really hit the jackpot bonus is swag! Wasn't expecting them to have any but how I was wrong!
These guys are so committed to the tiki theme, they had their own mugs created! I know some full on tiki bars that STILL don't have theirs! But they did! And it was a killer representation of their name! You simply MUST get a Blind Pig tiki mug! If nothing else it will fit for your next bbq pig luau! Oh yeah, and do not forget to grab up a few little Blind Pig drink umbrellas, too!
So, overall, when you are in the Orange County, hit Trader Sam's, Don the Beachcombers and Royal Hawaiian, but if you are there on a Tuesday night get yourself up to the Blind Pig in Rancho Santa Margarita (the town so cool it has 'margarita' in its name!)!
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Check 'em out for yourself, on Tiki Taco Tuesday or any other day of the week, at:
31431 Santa Margarita Pkwy, Rancho Santa Margarita,CA